If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong

take a copy of my gear list with you!

“before”

Te Araroa means “the long pathway” in Maori. Completed in 2011, it’s a 3000 kilometer trail extending from Cape Reinga in the North to Bluff in the south.

It traverses the entire country; beaches, forests, mountains, volcanoes and cities and should likely take me four to five months to finish.

Thus far in my “career” the furthest I walked all at one time was the GR5, 450 miles over the spine of the Alps. While taking on that challenge I wondered if I was made of the right stuff to sustain a thru-hike of not just weeks, but months.

Aside from the logistical nightmare and the risk that I might not be missed at my place of employment, I hadn’t the faintest idea if I possessed the grit, the fortitude and determination, and the sheer pig-headedness to stick with a walk of 1,864 miles.

The Te Araroa means "long pathway" in Maori. Blissful Hiker Alison Young walked it in 2018-19.
The Te Araroa is not a trail or even a “route.” It’s more of an idea.

Over the ensuing years, I decided there’s only one way to find out, and that’s to go and do it. Keeping in mind the fact that I’m not getting any younger and my arthritic toes are continuing to protest, I made the decision to request a leave of absence, and put myself directly on the path of enormous change.

Sure, it was a change in scenery and routine, but also in how my life looked and felt because I hiked alone. Don’t worry. Richard followed my every step through the magic of GPS tracking and shared the final three weeks with me in this beautiful country. 

Thank you to Randy and Kathy McCarty for their generous contribution to the Te Araroa Trust and helping to support my – and many, many other’s – successful and safe journeys.